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What If Team USA Fielded Team With NBA D-League Players Instead?

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With all the worry over injury in international play from NBA front offices, players and coaches alike, RidiculousUpside.com decided to take a look at a hypothetical where D-League players would fill the void for Team USA.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

*The selection committee involved with the invitations of these players included Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert), Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles) and Adam Johnson (@AdamJNBA). The rules were that players were American, played in the D-League during the 2013-14 season and are not currently signed with an NBA team.

Paul George's injury could be a tipping point for Team USA moving forward. Teams and front offices could be much more hesitant to be okay with their superstar players putting themselves at more risk during the off-season when the NBA season should have top priority. With that in mind, we hypothetically looked to the players of the NBA D-League to fill up the respective spots instead.

These players would be chomping at the bit for an opportunity like this. It could prove to be a tremendous platform. Even if NBA teams did not offer them deals, they could get picked up by an international powerhouse or simply be offered more money based on their performance in these games.

With that said, here are the minor league athletes we would nominate for such a roster.

Point Guard: Seth Curry - NBADL: 19.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists

Seth was the obvious choice for the starting point guard spot. He would space the floor (a must in the international game) and be able to make plays for his teammates as well. Curry isn't a traditional point guard, but with the importance placed on shooting in FIBA play, we didn't see a better option to man the lead guard spot.


Shooting Guard: Kevin Murphy - NBADL: 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists

Murphy lit up the D-League last year for the Idaho Stampede and with a need for a potent back court running mate to go with Curry, we chose Murphy unanimously as well. Though his 3-point shooting isn't lethal at 38.6 percent, he did hit almost two 3-pointers per game last season in the NBADL. Murphy also provides another play maker off the bounce to assist with the point guard duties if necessary.

Small Forward: Terrence Williams - NBADL: 20.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists

You might see a trend here -- we're taking guys who can create for themselves, as well as others. Williams is an athletic, strong small forward who can score when needed and find his teammates just as well -- he actually finished 10th in the D-League in assists per game last year. Williams also provides some defensive stability and can help Murphy and Curry with defending bigger guards on opposing rosters.

Power Forward: Tiny Gallon - NBADL: 18.9 points and 9.1 rebounds

We needed size and Gallon certainly has that attribute. Gallon has also shown an ability to score with his back to the basket and rebound the ball very well, so he was a must-have for this guard-heavy roster we have accumulated.

Center: Arinze Onuaku - NBADL: 14.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks

Another undersized big man here with Onuaku coming in at 6'9 at our center spot, but he provides the rebounding and sheer mass that this front line desperately needs. Onuaku will not need plays run specifically for him, so he can focus on being a defensive stalwart, crashing the glass and picking up the garbage.

Reserves

Point Guard: Dee Bost - NBADL: 15.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 8.4 assists

We chose Bost for his point guard skills and ability to get others open for good shots. Bost led the D-League in total assists last season (418) and was second in assists per game (8.4), however he also led the league in turnovers with 162 in 50 games (3.2 per game). Bost's more glaring weakness is his shooting, which isn't great at 36.2 percent from the field and only 29.3 percent from distance.


Combo Guard: Tre Kelley - NBADL: 18.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists

Tre Kelley is a flat out scorer and that's why he's listed as a combo guard here because he's not a true lead guard but he's kind of small for the shooting guard role. Kelley shot 43.8 percent from 3-point land last season in the D-League and will definitely help the second unit spread the floor.

Shooting Guard: Cam Jones - NBADL: 19.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists

Jones is a do-it-all type of guard who can score, score, score. I think you have noticed by now that since we lack true defensive specialists we are going for more scoring to offset that deficiency. Jones was third in the D-League in field goals made last year with 343 and was seventh in the league in free throw attempts at 240 -- he can score.

Small Forward: Devin Ebanks - NBADL: 23.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists

Firepower off the bench will be one of our strong suits with Kelley, Jones and now Ebanks. Ebanks led the D-League in field goals made (375) and attempted (821). Ebanks has NBA experience and is a great rebounder for his size and position.


Power Forward: Dominic McGuire - NBADL: 13.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists

McGuire is a smaller power forward a la Paul Millsap and would be a great fit for this roster. He rebounds like a machine (finished second in the D-League in this department last season) and has the ability to pass out of the post averaging close to four assists per game. His efficiency isn't the best for a PF at only 46 percent from the floor last season, but with all the scoring on this roster he can focus on defense and rebounding.

Center: Hilton Armstrong - NBADL: 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks

Armstrong is another "we needed size" addition and also it helps that he's been in and out of the NBA for the past seven seasons and he knows what it takes to compete at the highest level. I never once thought I would say a team needs Armstrong for his "veteran presence" but that's 100 percent the case here.

Center: Willie Reed - NBADL: 14.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks

The addition of Reed came down to one thing -- rebounds. Reed led the D-League in total rebounds (484) as well as offensive rebounds (189) and averaged almost four offensive rebounds per game. Those extra possessions will be highly valued especially when our roster is mainly built of outside and mid-range shooters -- there will be a good amount of misses to clean up for Reed.